Heeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyy!! Thought I forgot about ya, huh??
I love hearing everything that happened this last week! Sadly, I don't have enough time to address it all, but it sounds like you had a great week. No, mom, I'm not disobedient. We're writing late because this day has been crazy! We take off tomorrow morning at 5:30, headed up to Dortmund for Zone Conference 1 of 3! And this whole day has been making the last preparations! So Elder Emery and I are typing away, spreading the love as quick as we can, and trying to get everything organized at the same time! It's gonna be great. Tuesday = driving to Dortmund, having an awesome ZoKo, and then leaving straight away to Nürnberg, a 4.5 hour drive. Yay! Overnight in Nürnberg, then it's ZoKo round 2 with the Nürnberg and Erfurt, then a big caroling activity with 60 something missionaries at the Nürnberg Christmas Market! Then right away back to Frankfurt, get some sleep, and then ZoKo III in Offenbach on Thursday. Then on Friday, it's the Mission Leadership Council for half of the day in Offenbach, where we'll be talking about not just sharing the message, but becoming the message that we share. We've already assigned some speakers and topics, and it should be really good!
But to top it all off, Saturday, at 5 p.m., Daniel will be baptized, and I could not possibly be more excited. We organized everything this last week, after we taught them the big three: the Word of Wisdom, the Law of Chastity, and Tithing. Smooth sailing, not a problem. Jessica even bore really strong testimony about the importance of tithing, which I think was a strong witness for Daniel. And top it all off, she was sick, and asked us if we could give her a blessing before we left. At this lesson was also her inactive sister, and her younger nephew, Gabriel, who we found out also wants to be baptized (date to come). So these four people, Jessica, Daniel, Gabriel, and Brenda all had a really spiritual experience as we gave Jessica a priesthood blessing. You've got shoes to fill, Danny! But he will, I'm sure. After the baptismal interview this week, we promised Daniel and Jessica that we would provide root beer, because they haven't even heard of it before! So we're going to have root beer floats, and blow their minds. We're stoked. :)
Overall, a really really good, really really busy week coming up! And then it's the fourth Advent on Sunday, and then it's Christmas just like that. :)
This last week was also really good! We had a split with the Wiesbaden Zone Leaders, a split with the Nürnberg Zone Leaders (and we even got to go visit someone in Erlangen! I haven't been back there since I left over a year ago!!), an awesome Ward Christmas party to which Daniel showed up wearing a sharp new suit that he bought just for the special occasion, and we got to eat dinner on Thursday night at the top of the VIP lounge in the Frankfurt Marriott hotel! That was an experience, talk about high rollers! There is a senior couple in our mission who are "Platinum for Life" members at the Marriott, because over his years of extensive international business traveling, he always stayed at Marriott's. And as soon as you have spent over 1000 nights in a Marriott, you become Platinum for Life, which means the best rooms and services are automatically given to you as soon as you stop in. So Elder Emery and I lived the high life for about an hour and a half, with an incredible view of Frankfurt at night, before we took off to Nürnberg. Not bad, right?
Well, I know I haven't got much time, but I wanted to share something that I learned this week!
"The mercy and grace of Jesus Christ are not limited to those who commit sins either of commission or omission, but they encompass the promise of everlasting peace to all who will accept and follow Him and His teachings. His mercy is the mighty healer, even to the wounded innocent." - Boyd K. Packer "The Reason for our Hope"
I love this quote. Christ's Atonement was and is literally infinite. Not only can it heal and forgive every sin we commit, it is also designed to bring healing to those of us who feel hurt or discouraged because of something that happened to us, for which we aren't even responsible. Most of the time we simply think of the Atonement in terms of helping us receive forgiveness for our mistakes, but we don't use the complete Atonement enough, to also help heal us when we are discouraged because of others. It makes me think of Moroni 9:25. Christ came so that we can lift our heads and rejoice. So that we can be healed. So that we can actually be happy. Whether you are sinful or sinless, the Atonement still applies to you. I encourage you all to use it, because we all need it, whether because of our mistakes, or because of the mistakes of others. It has carried me through my entire mission, and continues to do so.
I love you all, and hope you have an amazing week. We'll hear from you soon!!
Love you, Mom!
-- Elder McGinn